In 2020, 2021, and 2022, Netflix received the most Oscar nominations of any movie studio. Will the streamer continue to place value on prestige projects now that Stuber is leaving, in an attempt to win the Best Picture Oscar? (Remember, they suffered a somewhat embarrassing defeat at the hands of “Coda,” as Apple TV+ swung in to become the first streaming service to win Best Picture even though Netflix had poured hundreds of millions of dollars into failed campaigns leading up to that moment.) If they do stay in the prestige game, will Stuber’s replacement be able to fight as hard for theatrical releases for their filmmakers and lure the same level of talent as their predecessor? Or will Netflix give up on the prestige route altogether?
That would be a huge blow to the industry, since many other streamers and studios (especially in the wake of last year’s dual strikes, that they themselves exacerbated) are tightening their belts and will not likely be willing to shell out Netflix-level budgets to auteurs. Let’s even put the prestige aspect to the side for a moment: Will Netflix be a viable player in major moviemaking without Stuber, or will they be content with churning out mediocre, mid-budget, forgettable, algorithm-dictated chum just to fill space on the release calendar? They’re currently sitting on the sidelines in a bidding war for a Ryan Coogler/Michael B. Jordan vampire movie because the filmmakers are insisting it have a theatrical release.
Relationships are everything in Hollywood. It’s unclear who Stuber’s full-time replacement will be, but that person will inherit one of the most notable positions in the industry, and the streamer’s next phase could very well be ushered in by the choices they make. Netflix’s original movies may never be the same again.
I touched on this on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:
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